Appealing Social Messaging Apps for smartphone

In this Internet era, the world keeps shrinking to just a so-called ‘global village”. With only a smartphone having access to the Internet, a user can now keep in touch with many people more easily than ever before. In this review, I am going to talk about 3 social messaging apps (‘app’ stands for application) that are available to many smartphone platforms. They are LINE, Viber and Whatsapp. While many similar things exist among these 3 apps, there are also some unique features that separate them from one another. Keep in mind that these apps need Internet connection on either wifi or 3G to make the communication possible.

1. LINE

LINE appLINE is available in both Android Market and iOS App Store. It was just announced that it has hit 16 million downloads in just 7 months after releasing the app, which I think it is quite a big success.

I have been using LINE for around 3 months already. Creating LINE ID is easy. As soon as you download the app, either on your Android device or on iOS device, it will ask for your phone number to activate the account. Then activation code will be sent to your phone number, and all you need to do is typing the code in LINE to confirm. LINE will, after that, automatically loads all your contacts and searches for those who have LINE ID. Next, it adds them to your LINE friend list. In other words, the friends you see on your LINE friend list are those who also use LINE.

You are now ready to start your conversation with your friends by just tapping on any name and type your message. The message is not very fast compared to other 2 apps that I am going to talk soon in this review. Message sometimes cannot be sent unless you restart the app, which is quite annoying. However, one useful thing about the app is the read reception. You will know if your friend has read your message when a little word ‘read’ appears next to the message you have sent.

One of the unique things about LINE is the ‘sticker’. Sticker is a cartoon emoji that represents your feeling. Sometimes words cannot express the image you want your friend to see, and that is when sticker comes in handy. There are around 200 stickers in LINE. I have to say that LINE stickers are all nice-looking and funny. Once you see your friend sends you the sticker, you will definitely smile or laugh.

In addition to messaging, LINE can also make call to other friends of yours who also use LINE. Again, the voice quality is not very good. The sound volume is also low. It becomes even poorer when the Internet connection is slow.

2. Viber

Viber appViber is also a social messaging app. Likewise, Viber can send messages and call as LINE does too. Again, we need to use a phone number to active a Viber account. The activation processes are the same as LINE, and your contact will be loaded automatically as well.

Sending a messaging is easy. Choose a friend in Viber contact, and the next thing you need to do is typing what you want to say. As a user, messaging in Viber is seemingly very fast and smooth. There is no lag whatsoever.

There are also features similar to LINE and Whatsapp such as ‘sent’ and ‘delivered’ indicators, which are the same as ‘read’ in LINE. There is also a ‘typing’ indicator that shows your friend’s action in typing the message. It is very useful for me as a user because I can expect to see a reply soon.

Call quality in Viber is what sets it apart from other apps. Viber call quality is superb. The sound is crystal clear, and I think it is even clearer than that of heard on regular telephone call. This can possibly replace regular phone call if you want to save your telephone bill. Because all it needs is Internet connection, it will not charge your mobile balance if you are on wifi.

3. Whatsapp

WhatsappSimilar to LINE, Whatsapp is a social messaging app that is available for Android and iOS as well as in some Symbian devices. The name of the app is pronounced very alike to ‘what’s up’, which is a famous greeting say in English language. Now you have the idea of why ‘Whatsapp’ is named after this app.

I have also been using Whatsapp for quite awhile too. Very similar to LINE and Viber, all you need to activate your Whatsapp account is your phone number. The activation processes are the same. Without annoying you in adding friends or buddies, Whatsapp will load all your contact and automatically connect you with friends who have Whatsapp.

Whatsapp is a messaging app only. It is unable to make a call, so messaging is the main use here. That is why it has several good features for messaging that make it stand out from the crowd. Messaging on the app is fast. It has an indicator that tells if the message you send has been received by the other end. In addition to ‘receive’ indicator, ‘read’ indicator shows that your friend has read your message.

Apart from sending message, you can send photo from these 3 apps as well. However, in Whatsapp, you can send video and audio notes that other 2 apps cannot do, which complements for the lack of voice call.

I can say that the overall performance of this app is good. It is very fast and stable, and I am pretty satisfied with Whatsapp.

Article by: Nhem Piseth
E-mail: piseth_nhem@yahoo.com

About Writer:

Piseth's profileNhem Piseth is a junior of Media Management at the Department of Media and Communication (DMC).

Being a media student, Nhem Piseth always hopes that what he has done can make positive changes, no matter how small or big, to society. He believes that writing can be one of the most effective ways to make it possible. With love of writing in his heart, Piseth has made writing as his daily activity and he will never give it up. He has been a reporter for CambodiaCircles since September 2011.  "I believe that people tend to be more honest when they write than when they talk, and that is one of the best things about writing," said Piseth.